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U.S. Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2019 Defense Budget 


Competitor states, especially China and Russia, have narrowed DoD’s military technological advantages, demanding the United States find new and innovative ways to fight in the future.


China is now a strategic competitor, using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea. Russia has violated the borders of nearby nations and pursues veto power over the economic, diplomatic, and security decisions of its neighbors.


Concurrently, North Korea’s actions and rhetoric continue despite the United Nation’s censure and sanctions. Iran continues to sow violence and remains the most significant challenge to Middle East stability. Despite the defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) physical caliphate, threats to stability remain as terrorist groups with long reach continue to murder innocent people and threaten peace.


This increasingly complex United States security environment is defined by rapid technological change, challenges from adversaries in every operating domain, and the impact on current readiness from the longest continuous stretch of armed conflict in U.S. history. In this environment, there can be no complacency—the United States must make the difficult choices that prioritize what is most important to field a lethal, resilient, and rapidly adapting Joint Force.


The re-emergence of long-term strategic competition, rapid dispersion of technologies, and new concepts of warfare and competition that span the entire spectrum of conflict require a Joint Force structured to match this reality.


The Department of Defense is responsible for ensuring that the Joint Force remains able to simultaneously protect the U.S. homeland, respond to and defeat adversary aggression abroad, and wage a global counter-terrorism campaign in cooperation with U.S. allies and partners, all while still improving its ability to respond to emerging threats. Thus, the defense program must be able to address both near-term requirements of these strategic imperatives while ensuring that U.S. Armed Forces will be able to prevail against future challenges in these mission areas. This Administration recognizes that the Department needs to rebuild the strength of the U.S. Armed Forces and has requested the resources in FY 2017 (Request for Additional Appropriations), FY 2018, and FY 2019 to begin that effort.



Building a more lethal force requires predictable and timely funding needed to execute a multiyear plan that rapidly rebuilds the Joint Force warfighter construct. This effort will require filling the gaps in capacity and lethality while preparing for sustained future investments. This endeavor includes a renewed focus on a safe and secure nuclear deterrent, fielding decisive and dynamic conventional forces, and retaining irregular warfare as a core competency.



The FY 2019 budget uses innovative technologies to increase the lethality of new and existing weapon systems. The Department is also developing leap-ahead systems to enable the Joint Force to defeat future aggression.


This budget continues the Administration’s Missile Defeat and Defense Enhancement effort to increase the capability and capacity of the United States to detect, disrupt, defeat and defend against any ballistic missile attack on the homeland, U.S. deployed forces, and U.S. allies.